Oregon State escapes a spirited UTSA upset bid, 66-65

By Jerry Briggs
Special for the JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners were hoping to hear a referee’s whistle blow when guard Jordan Ivy-Curry drove to the basket with under 10 seconds left in Sunday’s game in Corvallis, Ore.

In the end, there was no foul called. Ivy-Curry’s layup attempt didn’t go in the bucket, and the Oregon State Beavers escaped with a 66-65 victory over the Roadrunners.

OSU’s Jordan Pope knocked down two free throws with 13 seconds left for what would be the last points of the ball game.

UTSA didn’t call time out, pushed the ball up the court and tried to make something happen. It didn’t work out, leaving the Roadrunners a field goal shy of what would have been their first win over a Power 5 opponent in 14 years.

“We had a couple of good opportunities there (at the end),” UTSA coach Steve Henson told radio voice Andy Everett. “We had a floater on the second-to-last possession that didn’t fall. Then with the game on the line, we came down (and) they kind of ran and jumped on Tuck (Christian Tucker).

“He passed it to Juice (Ivy-Curry). Juice had a strong attack. Did exactly what you’re supposed to do in that situation. (Tried to) attack the rim and draw a foul, and … would have loved to have seen him step to the free-throw line and win the ball game … but it didn’t happen.”

As a result, the Roadrunners lost for the 27th straight time against an opponent from one of the five major revenue-producing conferences.

They haven’t won a game against teams from the Pac-12, the Big 12, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten or the SEC since 2009, in the 2009-10 season opener, when they beat the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes 62-50 in Iowa City.

It was Ivy-Curry’s first game of the season for UTSA after being announced as eligible on Saturday. He led the Roadrunners with 11 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Massal Diouf and Carlton Linguard Jr. had 10 points apiece. Diouf enjoyed a breakout performance with career bests of eight rebounds and four blocks.

Guard Jordan Pope paced the Beavers with 19 points. He knocked down three of four from three-point distance and was two for two — the last two of the game — at the line.


UTSA 5-6
Oregon State 7-3

Coming up

Army West Point at UTSA, Thursday, 7 p.m.


The Roadrunners led the Beavers for 28 minutes and 40 seconds of the 40-minute game. They were up by as many as nine points when they took a 31-22 lead with 2:23 left in the first half. After that, the game tightened. There were seven ties and 13 lead changes.

Both Ivy-Curry and Juan Reyna for UTSA were eligible to play for the first time this season after sitting out the first 10 games on an NCAA transfer rule. Ivy-Curry played well with 11 points, five rebounds and seven assists in 25 minutes off the bench. He shot 5 for 11 from the field. Reyna did not play.

UTSA announced Ivy-Curry and Reyna as eligible on Saturday morning in the wake of a court challenge to an NCAA rule that mandates athletes in all sports sit out a year in residence if they transfer two or more times during their careers.

A former high school star at La Marque High School in the Houston area, Ivy-Curry played two years at UTSA, transferred and played one season at the University of the Pacific in 2022-23 and then transferred back to UTSA last summer. In his last season with the Roadrunners, in 2021-22, he averaged 13.9 points.

Sophomore guard Adante’ Holiman returned to game action after sitting out the last two with concussion symptoms. He was scoreless in 14 minutes on 0 for 1 shooting.

Oregon State improved to 7-0 at home this season and to 4-0 against UTSA all time.

Who is Jordan Pope? He is a 6-2 sophomore from Oakley, Calif. He has scored in double figures in all 10 of OSU’s games this season. His 19 points against the Roadrunners were his most since back-to-back games of 25 against Appalachian State and Nebraska last month. Pope was slumping recently, hitting only nine of 32 from the field in his last two games.

Oregon State ousts TCU from NCAA tournament

The season is over for the TCU Horned Frogs.

The Oregon State Beavers beat TCU 3-2 Sunday afternoon to eliminate the Big 12 co-champions from the NCAA’s Fort Worth Regional.

TCU entered the tournament with high hopes, seeded sixth nationally and first in the region after sharing the Big 12 regular-season title with the Texas Longhorns and then winning conference’s postseason title last weekend in Oklahoma City.

After trouncing McNeese State 12-4 Friday night, the Horned Frogs started to stumble Saturday, giving up a four-run lead and losing 8-6 to Dallas Baptist.

On Sunday, they were tied with Oregon State going into the ninth, but they gave up the winning run when Justin Boyd singled off reliever Haylen Green to drive in Kyle Dernedde from second base.

After reaching on a hit by pitch, Dernedde stole second to set up the winning play. Oregon State reliever Mitchell Verburg pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the Horned Frogs, who were limited to three hits on the day.

NCAA results

Fort Worth Regional — Oregon State 3, TCU 2 (elimination game). Oregon State advances to play Sunday night against the Dallas Baptist Patriots, who can clinch their first regional title in 10 years with a victory. For the Beavers to advance, they’ll need to win Sunday and again on Monday night.

Austin Regional — Fairfield 9, Arizona State 7 (elimination game). Fairfield advances to play top-seeded Texas Sunday night. Texas, No. 2 nationally, can win the regional with a victory. Fairfield needs to win twice, once Sunday and again on Monday.

Lubbock Regional — UCLA 12, North Carolina 2 (elimination game). UCLA advances to play top-seeded Texas Tech Sunday night. Texas Tech, No. 8 nationally, can win the regional with a victory. UCLA needs to win twice, once Sunday and again on Monday.

Oregon State rallies late to knock off UTSA, 73-61

The UTSA Roadrunners were looking for a reason to celebrate after an erratic start to their 40th season of basketball.

They nearly pulled it off, but they couldn’t hold on at the end.

The Oregon State Beavers rallied late in the game behind guard Ethan Thompson for a 73-61 victory at Gill Coliseum.

In the contest played in Corvallis, Ore., the Roadrunners started fast with a 13-0 lead.

They led 34-30 at intermission and 51-46 with 7:22 remaining when Luka Barisic hit a three off the wing.

At that point, UTSA’s first victory over a power conference team in 11 years seemed well within reach.

But the home team didn’t want any part of that history, and Thompson scored five straight points to fuel a 12-1 run for the Beavers, who play in the Pac-12 Conference.

The 6-foot-5 guard finished with 22 points to lead all scorers.


Oregon State 3-3
UTSA 2-3


UTSA remained winless on the season against NCAA Division I competition, falling to 0-3 with losses to UT Rio Grande Valley, Oklahoma and Oregon State.

In addition, UTSA dropped to 0-11 against teams from the five major, revenue-producing conferences in Coach Steve Henson’s tenure with the Roadrunners.

UTSA has now lost 23 in a row against teams from conferences that include the Big 12, the Big Ten, the Pac-12, the ACC and the SEC. The Roadrunners’ last win against a power conference team came 11 years ago, in November of 2009, at Iowa.

The Roadrunners out-hustled the Beavers for most of the afternoon, but failed to get their offensive stars going. Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace combined for 4 of 29 shooting from the field.


“Well, it was maybe the most promising game we’ve had in terms of effort. I really liked the way our guys competed defensively. On the glass. Getting after loose balls. The effort, we were locked in. Was very, very pleased with that … We just never could get it going offensively.” — Steve Henson, on the team’s radio broadcast.

By the numbers

It was a tough day for Jackson and Wallace, two of the best scorers in UTSA history.

Jackson missed all 10 of his shot attempts in the first half and then misfired on his first three after intermission.

He finally hit for the first time with 14:45 left in the game on a 10-foot pull-up. Jackson, UTSA’s all-time leading scorer, finished 3 of 18 from the field for 10 points.

Wallace also started slowly, 1-6 in the first half. Saddled with foul trouble in the second half, he was 0-5 after intermission to finish 1 of 11.

He fouled out with 39 seconds left after producing five points, three rebounds and three assists.

The Roadrunners led in rebounding 27-16 at the half, including a 10-5 edge on the offensive end.

After intermission, the taller and bigger Beavers started playing harder and emerged with a 36-36 tie on the boards for the game.

Coming up

Our Lady of the Lake University at UTSA, Sunday, 3 p.m.

UTSA hopes to crank up its game against Oregon State

Lachlan Bofinger. UTSA beat UT-Permian Basin 97-71 on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 in the men's basketball season opener at the Convocation Center.

Freshman Lachlan Bofinger, from Sydney, Australia, has drawn praise from UTSA coach Steve Henson leading into today’s road game at Oregon State. — Photo by Joe Alexander

On their best days over the past three years, the UTSA Roadrunners have been a nightmare for their opponents, playing at a dizzying pace, shooting three-pointers from all angles and distances, and generally ringing up numbers that leave everyone aghast.

The best of those days came in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, when the Roadrunners seemed particularly hard to handle. Both years, they won 11 and lost 7 in Conference USA. They evolved into a team that opponents didn’t really want to see on a Saturday afternoon in San Antonio.

Last year, the dynamics started to change. Opposing teams started to figure out that UTSA could not win consistently even on nights when guards Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace raced off on mind-boggling scoring binges.

As a result, Roadrunners coach Steve Henson made some changes of his own. In spite of challenges presented by the pandemic, he started out a few months ago determined to mold a team that played tougher defense and made opposing teams think about guarding six or seven players — not just two.

So far, the transition remains as a work in progress. As UTSA (2-2) prepares to tip off today at Oregon State (2-3) of the Pac-12 Conference, the Roadrunners have yet to beat anyone in NCAA Division I with two weeks remaining until the start of the C-USA campaign.

In their two games against D-I opponents, they’ve been outscored by a combined average of 93-65.

“We’re not where we want to be,” Henson told reporters Monday. “We’re not where we need to be if we’re going to win a lot of ball games. We recognize that. That’s OK. You know, if we were playing at a high level, we’d still be trying to get better. (We) told our guys that. It doesn’t really matter where we are at right now. We got to get better today.”

The game against Oregon State is their first in 12 days. They last played on Dec. 3 and 4, when they lost by 39 points at Oklahoma and then returned home on short rest and weary legs to drill Division III Sul Ross State by 29.

“We don’t feel like we’re that far off,” Henson said. “The sample size is making it kind of difficult. We felt like we played poorly at UTRGV. Played poorly at Oklahoma. And in our other two games, might not have been a true indicator of where we need to be. So, the sample size is going to grow.

“Oregon State is a Power Five program. We’ve got to go up there and give ourselves another opportunity to win a ball game against a Power Five. I think our guys are prepared to do that. I think they’re excited. But we’re still trying to figure some things out.”

From the beginning last summer, Henson and his staff insisted that the Roadrunners needed to become a better team defensively to succeed. He said recently that it’s also time for the offense to start clicking.

“You know, if you go down the list right now, we don’t have too many guys that have played anywhere near where they can on the offensive end,” the coach said. “There’s a couple of exceptions. Erik Czumbel is playing very well, shooting at a high level. Lache Bofinger, a freshman, he’s been fantastic.

“But we’ve got a lot of other guys who are capable of doing a lot more offensively. We’ve got to pump them up with confidence. We got to defend harder. We got to play with better effort. We need to rebound more physically. We haven’t played with a lot of confidence on the offensive end.”

In road games at UT-Rio Grande Valley and Oklahoma, the Roadrunners have seemed particularly out of kilter on the offensive end, shooting 37.8 percent from the field and 24 percent from three. Also in those two games, their assist-turnover ratio has been a sub-standard, 23-31, including 6-18 against the Sooners.

Henson said he’s not overly concerned about his point guard play.

“Each guy (Jackson, Czumbel and Wallace) gives us a little bit of something different,” Henson said. “We want to involve Jhivvan in a lot of ball screens in this next ball game. Again, he does as good a job of anybody on the roster of pitching the ball ahead. In the half court, regardless of whether he’s the point or the off, Keaton’s getting good penetration, getting down in the paint. Those three guys are going to be fine.”

With Jackson and Wallace, their shot attempts per game are down from years past as the Roadrunners try to become a more well-rounded offense. The coach said he likes how his two mainstays have tried to play unselfishly, to make sure that others are getting involved.

“They’re struggling a little bit in when to defer and when to take over,” Henson said. “We all know … we cannot be a two-man show. We need somebody else to step up. But there are still times when those guys need to go and be special. You know, go out there and be one of the best backcourts in the country. They’re capable of doing that. They’re capable of taking over stretches. We got to find that balance with them.”

UTSA prepares for Pac-12 trip to face the Oregon State Beavers

Undaunted by a burgeoning pandemic that has affected some of the most powerful college basketball programs in the nation, UTSA plans to travel to the Northwest on Tuesday with the idea of playing the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis on Wednesday afternoon.

Steve Henson. UTSA beat UT-Permian Basin 97-71 on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 in the men's basketball season opener at the Convocation Center.

Coach Steve Henson and the UTSA Roadrunners are expected to play at Oregon State of the Pac-12 Conference on Wednesday afternoon. — Photo by Joe Alexander

Roadrunners coach Steve Henson said his team is still working to correct some inconsistencies on the court.

But when asked in a Zoom conference with reporters Monday if his team has had any tests come back positive for the Covid-19 virus in the past few weeks, he said all recent tests have been negative.

“We’ve been all negative for quite some time,” Henson said.

Over the past 10 days, Gonzaga and Baylor, the top two teams in the nation, have had to scrap games because of Covid-19 issues. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has called off the rest of his non-conference schedule.

Most concerning, Keyontae Johnson, a returning All-Southeastern Conference player for the Florida Gators, remains hospitalized and in “critical but stable condition” after collapsing during a road game at Florida State on Saturday afternoon.

Henson said his program is monitoring events daily, and he is prepared to follow whatever medical guidance he might receive.

“I wouldn’t have been surprised if at any minute someone hadn’t stepped up and said, ‘All right, we’re not going to play non-conference games,'” he said. “Obviously we’re all following very closely the Keyontae Johnson situation, the kid from Florida.

“You know, that may or may not have some impact on some decisions as we move forward. Very concerning situation there. We’re all thinking about that young man and praying for him.

“Coach K, I believe, was one of the coaches early on saying we shouldn’t start (the season) until January. So there was a lot of that conversation going on early in the season, that we should cancel non-conference games. That we should push everything back.

“So we were just trying to stay ready to play. Trying to practice and be ready. Trying to stay healthy and get some games in. And also be ready to pivot if we need to at any point.”

Henson said he talked to Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle “four or five weeks ago” about the game.

“I had read some things that Portland State had been shut down (and) I didn’t know if that would affect Oregon and Oregon State, or anybody else up there,” he said. “So I called him and at that point, (we) felt good about it (and) just kept monitoring it. As long as we kept seeing them play games, we felt good about it.”

Coming up

UTSA (2-2) at Oregon State (2-3), Wednesday, 4 p.m.


Playing at home, UTSA downed NCAA Division III Sul Ross State 91-62 on Dec. 4 to forge a split of the first four games on the schedule. Both losses have come by double digits on the road against Division I competition, including a 39-point loss on Dec. 3 at Oklahoma. Oregon State has lost three straight, including an 87-86 home loss on Dec. 10 against the University of Portland, a member of the D-I West Coast Conference.

Oregon State toughens up down the stretch, thwarts UTSA, 88-78

For every punch they took, the Oregon State Beavers countered with more sock than UTSA could handle, rumbling past the Roadrunners 88-78 in a non-conference NCAA basketball game at Houston.

In a contest played at the Toyota Center, UTSA fell behind by 16 twice early in the second half, only to rise up and pull within six twice down the stretch.

A couple of free throws by NCAA scoring leader Jhivvan Jackson pulled the Roadrunners to within 68-62 with 6:45 remaining.

Undaunted, Oregon State made a few plays, hit some free throws and didn’t allow the opposition to get any closer, leaving the Roadrunners shaking their heads at what they need to do to beat a power conference program.

UTSA was in position to win, and couldn’t finish off the rally.

“That’s the thing that’s a little disappointing,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said later. “You make 15 threes in the game, you (think) you’d have a chance to win …

“I’m proud of our guys for hanging in there and fighting back and making a game of it.  We just dug a big hole (for ourselves) in both halves.”

The Roadrunners did some good things, hitting a season-high 15 threes, scoring 44 points in the second half and out-rebounding the Beavers 37-35.

But they allowed the Beavers to shoot 55.8 percent from the field and fell to 0-22 in games against power conference foes since 2009.

The streak includes 21 straight losses against teams from the football/basketball oriented power five of the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12, plus one loss to a Big East foe.

UTSA hasn’t defeated a team from the power elite since November of 2009 when it knocked off Iowa of the Big Ten, 62-50, in Iowa City.

The Roadrunners are 0-9 against power programs in a little more than three seasons under Steve Henson.


Oregon State 9-1

UTSA 4-7

By the numbers

UTSA — Jhivvan Jackson led all scorers with 28 points, including 20 in the second half.  He hit 7 of 8 from the field after intermission.  Keaton Wallace scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half.  The Roadrunners nailed 15 of 33 from three.  In a positive sign, they’ve hit 29 from long distance in their last two games.

Oregon State — Seven-foot center Kylor Kelley had 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks.  Ethan Thompson had 23 points, four assists and two steals.  Beavers scoring leader Tres Tinkle, the preseason Pac-12 Player of the Year, was in foul trouble and was held to 11 points.


Oregon State seemed to live at the free-throw line, hitting 25 of 39 to UTSA’s  9 of 16. Three UTSA big men, including Adrian Rodriguez, Jacob Germany and Atem Bior, all fouled out.

UTSA and Oregon State met in the first game of a tripleheader at the Toyota Center, the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  It was part of Battleground 2K19, featuring Baylor, South Florida, Utah State and UT Martin.

Coming up

UTSA returns home to face Illinois State on Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center. The game will tip off at 3 p.m.








UTSA hopes to re-write history against Oregon State

Keaton Wallace. UTSA beat UT-Permian Basin 98-55 on Sunday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Keaton Wallace is averaging 22 points on 57.5 percent shooting in his last three games. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Ten years and one month have passed since the UTSA Roadrunners last won a men’s basketball game against a team from one of the NCAA’s power conferences.

It was Nov. 15, 2009 when the Roadrunners downed the Iowa Hawkeyes, 62-50, in a season opener at Iowa City.

Since then, UTSA has lost 20 straight against teams from the traditional football/basketball powers — namely, the Southeastern Conference, the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Pac-12.

Counting those five conferences, plus the basketball-dominant Big East, the streak is 21 games.

The Roadrunners will try to break those streaks this afternoon in Houston at the Toyota Center against the Pac-12’s Oregon State Beavers.

“That would be big time to beat a team like Oregon State,” UTSA guard Keaton Wallace said. “They’re a good team. I don’t think we’re going to go in and change anything or go in timid.

“We’re going to still play Roadrunner basketball.  We’re going to be confident going into the game, and, you know, we’re going to play hard.”

Led by forward Tres Tinkle, the unranked Beavers (8-1) have won six straight games. The Roadrunners (4-6) are playing well, having won four of five since an 0-5 start.

Included in the losses, UTSA fell 85-67 in the season opener at Oklahoma, a power opponent from the Big 12.

UTSA fell to 0-5 on Nov. 18 when it lost by 32 on the road at No. 15 Utah State.

Since then, the Roadrunners changed up the backcourt, bringing in Erik Czumbel to start at the point.  They also changed some things on how to free shooters on the perimeter.

The result has been better play from Wallace and an offense that has scored 264 points over its last three games.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said high expectations were not met earlier in the season, but he added that players are getting more comfortable with the system.

“We’re a pretty talented group,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “We did not get off to the start we envisioned … We’re still not where we hope to be.  Lately, we’re playing a lot better.

“We’re starting to figure some things out.  Even though we have a fairly veteran group, we also have some key new players. I think we’re starting to figure out how to use those guys.  They’re getting more comfortable.

“The last two games, we’re playing with confidence. We’re playing better, shooting the ball better … Hopefully, we’re making some progress.”











Oregon State wins, claims NCAA baseball championship

Facing elimination after losing their opener at the College World Series, the Oregon State Beavers ripped off four straight victories to stay alive.

Once they reached the championship round, the Beavers did it the hard way — again.

They lost the opener, and then rallied with a vengeance to take two straight from the Arkansas Razorbacks, claiming the school’s third NCAA Division I title.

Oregon State, champions in both 2006 and 2007, climbed to the top of the college baseball world again after beating Arkansas 5-0 Thursday night behind freshman Kevin Abel’s masterful pitching.

Scoring two runs in the first inning to take charge early, the Beavers turned it over to Abel, a freshman from San Diego.

Abel responded by throwing a two-hit, complete-game shutout. Mixing a fastball, a curve and a devastating changeup, he struck out 10 and retired the last 20 batters he faced.

Facing television cameras after the game, he couldn’t hide his emotions.

“Unbelievable,” Abel told ESPN in front of cheering fans at TD Ameritrade Park. “Thank you, Beaver Nation, for everything you do. You guys are awesome.”

Adley Rutschman produced three hits and two RBI for the Beavers. With 17 hits in the CWS, he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Oregon State lost 8-6 to North Carolina in the CWS opener. In response, the Beavers knocked off Washington, North Carolina and Mississippi State (twice) to get to the finals.

Once in the title round, OSU stumbled again, falling 4-1 to Arkansas on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the Razorbacks moved to within one out of their first national title.

Arkansas had a chance to win it but misplayed a pop foul ball. Given a second chance, the Beavers didn’t let it get away. They rallied from a one-run deficit to win 5-3.

The Game 3 clincher wasn’t nearly as dramatic. But it was efficient, with Rutschman coming up big, driving in runs in first and third innings.

“We’ve got a special group,” Rutschman told ESPN.


Oregon State 55-12-1
Arkansas 48-21

Oregon State, Arkansas to play again with a title on the line

When the Oregon State Beavers and Arkansas Razorbacks take the field Thursday night for the NCAA Division I baseball championship, all the elements for another classic will converge.

The same cast of characters that produced the first two games in the College World Series finals will face off at TD Ameritrade Park one more time. Same players. Same coaches.

Even the same crazy fans.

But whether the deciding game can measure up to Wednesday night’s Game 2 in sheer, dramatic theater remains as an open question.

Oregon State rallied in the ninth inning behind Cadyn Grenier and Trevor Larnach for a stunning 5-3 victory over Arkansas, tying the CWS finals at one win apiece.

Nobody won a championship, but the game was a gem, with the lead changing hands three times.

“I never had a doubt,” Larnach said in an ESPN interview. “I never was worried.”

Arkansas registered a 4-1 victory on Tuesday to open the best-of-3 finals, setting the stage for the re-match.

In the top of the ninth, Arkansas was one out away from clinching the victory and the national title, but couldn’t close it out.

The game appeared to be over when Grenier lifted a high pop fly in foul territory behind first base.

But with Razorbacks second baseman Carson Shaddy, right fielder Eric Cole and first baseman Jared Gates converging, the ball dropped behind Shaddy and between the other two players for a foul ball.

Grenier would get another swing against Arkansas relief ace Matt Cronin, and he delivered with a two-out, two-strike RBI single through the left side to tie the game.

Larnach followed with a line drive, two-run homer to right field, making it 5-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Arkansas reliver Jake Mulholland got a ground ball, double play to end it.


Cadyn Grenier, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

“As soon as you see the ball drop, you know you have another life. All I thought was I needed to refocus and make the most of that extra life that we got.”

Matt Cronin, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

“I was feeling good, expecting to finish the ballgame right there and win a natty (a national title). But it didn’t work out the way we wanted it. So we’re going to regroup and get it tomorrow.”

How it happened

The Razorbacks scored first with a run in the second inning off Oregon State starter Bryce Fehmel.

Carson Shaddy started the rally with a one-out single, and Jared Gates was hit by a pitch.

After a Grant Koch ground ball resulted in a force play, erasing Shaddy at third base, Fehmel walked Jax Biggers to load the bases.

The implosion continued when Fehmel threw a wild pitch, allowing Gates to score and giving the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Oregon State’s Adley Ruschman tied the game with a solo home run off Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy.

The Beavers continued to scrap in the fifth inning, bunching three hits and scoring a run to take the lead on a suicide squeeze bunt.

Zak Taylor delivered a one-out single through the infield, and then Preston Jones beat out a bunt single placed perfectly down the third base line.

At that point, Jake Reindl replaced Murphy and promptly walked Nick Madrigal to load the bases.

Grenier followed with an RBI single on another bunt, boosting Oregon State into a 2-1 lead.

Reindl threw one more pitch, a ball, to Larnach. But that was it for Reindl as Arkansas gambled, bringing in Kole Ramage to face one of Oregon State’s most dangerous hitters.

Ramage, in one of the game’s biggest moments, delivered by striking out Larnach and then getting Ruschman to ground out to end the threat.

The Razorbacks didn’t waste any time in mounting a comeback, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.

With one out, Casey Martin laced a single through the right side.

From there, the baseball gods started to smile on Arkansas, as Heston Kjerstad blooped a ball down the left field line that fell in for a single.

To make matters worse for Oregon State, Luke Bonfield blooped another ball into shallow left, just out of the center fielder’s reach.

Martin utilized blazing speed to tie the game, scoring all the way from second and sliding in just ahead of the throw while Kjerstad took second.

One out later, Shaddy singled to left, bringing home Kjerstad as Arkansas took a 3-2 lead.

Arkansas wins, moves to within one victory of NCAA baseball title

A contested umpire’s call in the fourth inning Tuesday night tipped the momentum to the Arkansas Razorbacks, who capitalized on the good fortune to rally for a 4-1 victory over the Oregon State Beavers at the College World Series.

Arkansas is now one win away from its first NCAA baseball title.

The same two teams will play again Wednesday night in Game 2 of a best-of-three series for the championship. Game 3, if necessary, would be held Thursday. The series is being played in Omaha, Nebraska.

A key sequence in the opener unfolded in the bottom of the fourth when a baserunner interference call led to an Oregon State run being taken off the scoreboard.

Trevor Larnach opened the inning with a double to left on a fly ball that Arkansas leftfielder Heston Kjerstad lost in the sun. Adley Rutschman followed with a single, moving Larnach to third.

On Tyler Malone’s ground ball to the right side, Larnach ran home and crossed the plate, Rutschman was thrown out at second on the force and Malone was called safe at first on a double-play attempt.

Umpires, however, ruled that Rutschman — who ducked his head as he neared second base — had interfered with the relay throw from Arkansas shortstop Jax Biggers.

It meant that both Rutschman and Malone were erased on a double play. Worse for the Beavers, umps told Larnach that he had to go back to third.

Oregon State coach Pat Casey came out to argue, but the call stood.

From there, Arkansas pitcher Blaine Knight struck out Michael Gretler to end the inning, keeping the Beavers’ lead at 1-0.

In the top of the fifth, Oregon State starter and 16-game winner Luke Heimlich came unraveled, with the Razorbacks scoring four runs.

Heimlich walked one, hit two batters with pitches and watched as star Nick Madrigal made a critical infield error.

On the play, Casey Martin hit a slow roller that Madrigal failed to handle cleanly. So, instead of getting a force at second base for the second out of the inning, the third run of the inning scored and everyone was safe.

Heimlich would throw one last pitch, a ball, to Heston Kjerstad. After that, Casey pulled him for Christian Chamberlain, who proceeded to issue a walk to force in a run that made it 4-1.

The Beavers entered the day with 48 runs scored in five games at the CWS. But the Razorbacks’ pitching trio of Knight, Barrett Loseke and closer Matt Cronin combined to hold them in check.

Knight pitched six innings and allowed a run on seven hits, improving his record to 14-0 on the season. Loseke worked two innings and Cronin closed in the ninth.

Heimlich, a senior, took the loss and fell to 16-3.

He worked 4 and 1/3 innings and was charged with all four runs, three of them earned. Heimlich struck out five and walked two.

Chamberlain was dominant in 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. He yielded only two hits while striking out 11.


Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

“We feel very fortunate to have won the ball game. Baseball is a little different game sometimes, and you can have eight innings where you don’t do much and you put together one inning and you pitch good enough and play defense and you can win.”

Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, to the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

We’ve got to come out tomorrow with more of an edge and better competitiveness, and see what happens. There’s something about it, something about facing elimination that you can’t really explain. So I’m hoping we come out with that fire and energy tomorrow.”

Rutschman, on the interference call:

“I don’t exactly know the rule on it, but I just did my best to get out of the way and get out of his throwing lane. I just kind of crouched down, and I don’t really know what else to say … you can’t obstruct his throwing lane, so that’s just what I tried to do. I guess you can’t do that.”


Oregon State is expected to pitch righthander Bryce Fehmel (10-1, 3.16) on Wednesday night. Arkansas is scheduled counter with lefty Kacey Murphy (8-5, 3.15).

Game 1 had been scheduled for Monday, but it was rained out, pushing the opener to Tuesday.

Oregon State has been dealing with controversy in regard to Heimlich since this time last year when he left the team before the CWS after an Oregon newspaper reported that he had pleaded guilty to molesting a young relative when he was 15.

Officials allowed him to return to the team this season. The Associated Press reports that he served two years of probation and went through a treatment program. Heimlich denied wrongdoing in recent interviews with Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.

He was not drafted either last year or this year.


Arkansas 48-19
Oregon State 53-12-1